About Our Parish

Our History

September 2016 marked 164 years of Catholic presence in the Fairfield area. Formally Fairfield was known as Millerstown. As far back as 1823 priests from St. Joseph’s in Emmitsburg and Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary ministered to the Catholics in Millerstown, saying Mass in the homes of Catholics. The faithful from Millerstown went to Mass at St. Joseph’s or to the “church on the mountain.” In 1852 Father Crane, a priest at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary received monies to begin the construction of a church in what was now called Fairfield. He called it Our Lady of the Snows. Before the construction was completed Father Crane died and another priest from Mt. St. Mary’s was assigned to the parish. A ledger in the parish files dated 1909, gives the name “St. Mary’s of the Snows.” It seems that “St. Mary’s” was the popular name even from the earliest days.

There is some confusion about the history of St. Mary’s due to an undocumented one page history written by Father McDermott in 1905. His written statement says “Father Deneckere from Gettysburg, built the church in 1854 and named it The Church of the Immaculate Conception.” This story he placed on file at the chancery office, and thus the name of the parish remained to this date.

The original church building was located at 12 East Main Street and served the Catholic community until the year 2000 when the new building was completed on Tract Road. The move to the new building was bittersweet, but the growth of the community demanded it. There was enough of the old building taken to give the new surrounding a more at home feeling. The stained glassed windows were placed in the narthex, the statues of Our Lady, St. Joseph, and even the bell from the bell tower was brought to the new location. The bell now sits covered in front of the building to the left of the entrance. The present pews and altars were a gift from St. Mark’s in Hyattsville, MD. The Altar was restored by the late Charles Martin, and the pews were recently refinished by a company from North Carolina. The Crucifix was recently donated by Jenny Farkas and friends in memory of her husband Nick. The previous Crucifix is now in the Adoration Chapel at the House of Studies.


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